High Notes

Good grief.  Dearly Beloved just returned from walking the dog with music blaring from his pocket again.  Of all the tricks he has learned to do with his birthday iPhone, I find this the most annoying.

“Did you really walk around the neighborhood like that?”

“Yes.  I didn’t want to wear earbuds.  I wanted to be free.”

That’s the same reason that Grandson #2 gives for not wearing underwear.   Still, echoing sassy grandson’s words saves DB from being moved along my C-scale.  Currently, I have him lingering between Cute and Curmudgeon.  It’s a precarious position, for he’s been complaining about his sore back for a couple of weeks now and it’s getting r-e-a-l old!


Cute – Curmudgeon – Cantankerous – Codger

However, today is Oldest Grandson’s birthday, so it is of him I sing.  DB and I are now officially Grandparents of a Teenager.   Here he is on Halloween, coiffed as Justin Bieber.  That’s younger brother, Mario, beside him.  

If you, like me, are among the decidedly uncool, I am including a photo of the teenybopper heartthrob. There are actually biographies of this kid on store bookshelves!

Back to the birthday boy, who has gone from being an under five-pound preemie to Really Neat 13-Year-Old in what seems like a couple of years.   Each time they get together, he and his granddad “work on something”–a baseball move,  a football spiral, a basketball shot.  DB has always been a very good athlete and has insights he loves to share with the grandsons.

Last spring, they were playing baseball with a group at a nearby park and Grandson hit the ball hard.  Granddad, playing shortstop, didn’t reach it before it dropped in front of him.

On the way home, Grandson pulled his bicycle alongside his grandfather at a corner and, as if he’d been thinking about it for some time,  said quietly, Granddad, you would have caught that ball if  it hadn’t had so much backspin on it.”

His grandfather grinned and said, “Nice try… but you would have caught that ball.”

Grandson looked thoughtful for a few seconds.  “I guess.”

DB told me the story later, telling me that both of them realized the significance of the moment. . . one slowing down, the other growing stronger and taller each day.

Yes, Granddad is slowing down and Grandson is growing up.  Did I mention that Oldest Grandson is a really nice kid?

I want everyone to smile on his birthday, so here’s a story I heard on NPR, in case you’re grumpy today.  A couple of weeks ago at a Norfolk Admirals minor league hockey game, 8-year-old Elizabeth Hughes stepped out to sing the National Anthem after winning in tryouts.  Her sweet soprano voice was gaining confidence with every note until the microphone suddenly went dead in the middle of the song.

She faltered, unsure of what to do.  She knew that no one could hear her.  There was one snicker of laughter from the crowd, then something pretty special happened.  Watch.

Michele Norris interviewed Elizabeth on All Things Considered and when the little girl expressed disappointment that she didn’t get to hit her high note at the end, Michele gave her the opportunity to do exactly that.  If you want to hear her grand finale,  NPR still has the story on their website.


Happy Birthday, Oldest Grandson.


16 thoughts on “High Notes

  1. This post can’t get any sweeter, Marylee. You have a teenager in the family again! How cool is that? Hubby with a new toy, a cute grandson, and a lovely memory.
    I heard about that little girl in the arena on the radio and it gave me chills. Justin Bieber? I don’t get it. He’s probably a spoiled little brat.

  2. Birdie

    Happy Birthday to HIM! I first saw said number one grandson in a photo as a wizened looking teeny tiny, could not really be out of the hospital infant.
    WOW, time really does fly.
    Merrily regret to say, your video has left me with tears streaming; had no idea an 8 year old could have a voice like that.

  3. Happy Birthday to a really thoughtful teen who happens to be your grandson. What a young diplomat he is.
    I can’t help but wonder how the JB haircut fairs in a stiff breeze.

  4. Looking for life’s sweet moments today, ready for a break from sorrow and CNN, I find this lovely entry. Thank you so much for the story of DB and Oldest Grandson; those are the moments that make life worthy to be cherished.
    Happy Birthday, OG, and Happy OG’s Birthday to his grandparents, too.

  5. Jincey

    Oldest Grandson is already a diplomat. Lots of love goes into the making of such a fine young man, and that must have been passed along from his grandparents to his parents. Happy birthday to him!

  6. Your grandson and mine share the same birthday! (My birthday boy is ten today.) Your Really Neat 13-Year-Old is certainly that and more.

    That little girl had so much poise to sing before a crowd. What a lovely, lovely voice! (I’d like to bop the woman who snickered on the head, though.)

  7. Such a heartfelt story about your real nice teen grandson and his grandfather. Generational love, respect; a teen that has clearly been shown compassion and empathy. A home run no matter how you look at it. Happy Birthday to your teen grandson.

    Oh come on let DB be free!

  8. What a sweet post, on so many levels. I’m still giggling at the picture/thought of your DB and the looks he must get with music blaring from his pockets. Loved the video, too. But want to smack the person who laughed. What a jerk.

  9. Yep — your Grandson has Bieber beat all over the place…and he deserves the best birthday at all.

    The video was special and heart warming. Thanks.

  10. Your grandsons are so precious! A teen eh? Mine is turning into one this March as well. You are going to receive emails from me soon asking, “HOW DID YOU SURVIVE THIS?!”

    Love the Justin Bieber and Mario costumes. Love the conversation b/w DB and you and DB and Oldest Grandson (should we call him OG from now on?) He sounds like such a fine young man. OG sounds like one too. 😉

  11. steffiw

    Happy belated grandsons birthday!,what a lovely post especially about the moment shared,what a lovely voice and so much confidence,when the mike failed and the crowd sang back it gave me goosebumps!I hope the woman who sniggered felt ashamed of herself!

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